Noble cause on Saturday

Mark Noble is looking forward to a "lovely game" when West Ham United welcome Arsenal - but knows points take precedence over a performance.

The Hammers are looking for a third Boleyn Ground win in a week and fourth straight success at home, but the high-flying Gunners will be looking to shoot them down with the likes of Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Marouane Chamakh likely to figure. Noble is ready for what he thinks could be a beautiful batle and sees no reason why the home side cannot do the job.

"Arsenal are a fantastic side and it is a lovely game to play in," said Noble, a major influence in Tuesday's 2-1 win in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg with Birmingham City. "Everyone admires the way they play but they are coming here and we are looking forward to it.

"They play fantastic football and you want to play against the best and they are one of the best. [We can be confident and ] if you look 90 per cent of our games this year you wouldn't think we would be struggling in the league. We have made mistakes, probably a bit of naivety and not taking chances as we should have but then again hopefully we can change that.

"We will take confidence from the Carling Cup run and hopefully slowly climb the league. Obviously winning games gives you confidence - you score goals, you win games,you get confident. We need to keep pushing on. [Arsenal and Everton away next Saturday week] are two hard league games and we need to do as best we can in them."


Looking further ahead to the semi-final return at St Andrew's a week on Wednesday, Noble added: "Hopefully we can go to Birmingham and put on another good performance in the second leg.

"We didn't play as well in the second half but we won the game. We scored a winning goal in the second half, i don't think we were too worried about the performance at that point. It was all about winning the game and that's what we've done." No doubt, the same would apply this Saturday.